By Yoga Journal
A long day can leave your legs sore, your back achy, your neck stiff, and your mind racing. What's the solution? Yoga, of course! Masumi Goldman and Laura Kasperzak of Two Fit Moms like to wind down with a relaxing flow. The perfect p.m. practice not only helps melt the stress of the day but sets you up for a restful night's sleep.
Thread the Needle
This posture is both a gentle twist and a shoulder opener. Keep your hips square and stacked above the knees. Pull your top shoulder back, keeping your neck neutral. Stay here and hold for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Revolved Downward-Facing Dog
Parivrtta Adho Mukha Svanasana
This twisting variation of Downward-Facing Dog feels good on the spine. You may want to shorten your stance before bringing a hand to the outside edge of the opposite calf or ankle. With every exhale, try to deepen your twist while keeping the hips neutral. Stay here and hold for five breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Revolved High Lunge
This is a great posture for stretching the hips, psoas, and quadriceps. Adding the twist stretches the lower back, and adding a bind further stretches the shoulders. Stay here for five breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Twisted Low Lunge, variation
This is a slightly deeper posture than the previous one. By rolling onto the outside edge of the front foot, you will deepen the hip stretch. By grabbing the outside edge of the back foot, you will deepen the quadriceps stretch. Stay here and hold for five breaths, then repeat on the other side.
This posture is all about opening up the hips and groin. Feel free to place your forearms onto blocks if you cannot comfortably bring them to your mat. Try to keep as much length in your spine as you can by gazing outward. Stay here and hold for 5-10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
This is a great stretch for both the hamstrings and shoulders. Try to keep your palms together and shoulders drawing away from your ears. Keep length in your spine as you bring the crown of your head toward your mat. Shift your weight slightly forward toward your toes to keep your hips in line with your ankles. Stay here and hold for 10 breaths.
Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
End your evening with one last juicy hamstring opener, mini-twist, and shoulder stretch all in one. Try to keep length in your spine as you fold forward, drawing the navel over the center of your extended leg. Grab the outside edge of the foot with the opposite hand to intensify the twist. With your other arm, add the mini-bind, reaching for the thigh of your opposite leg, to stretch the shoulder. Stay here and hold for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
To start your day with Two Fit Moms, check out the Good Morning Flow.